Quantifying and Comparing the Predictive Accuracy of Continuous Prognostic Factors for Binary Outcomes

Chaya S. Moskowitz, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Margaret S. Pepe, University of Washington

This paper has been published in Biostatistics. The full reference is: Moskowitz CS and Pepe MS. (2004) Quantifying and comparing the predictive accuracy of continuous prognostic factors for binary outcomes. Biostatistics 5(1): 113-127.


The positive and negative predictive values are standard ways of quantifying predictive accuracy when both the outcome and the prognostic factor are binary. Methods for comparing the predictive values of two or more binary factors have been discussed previously. (Leisenring, Alonzo, and Pepe, 2000). We propose extending the standard definitions of the predictive values to accommodate prognostic factors that are measured on a continuous scale and suggest a corresponding graphical method to summarize predictive accuracy. Drawing on the work of Leisenring et al., we make use of a marginal regression framework and discuss methods for estimating these predictive value functions and their differences within this framework. The methods presented in this article have the potential to be useful in a number of areas including the design of clinical trials and health policy analysis.